Why Volley and Bayonet for the Peninsular War

There are a few reasons why I’ve gone for Volley & Bayonet to use for Peninsular War and specifically my Albuera Project.

The reasons are:

(1) My mate Roland Davis recommended them as Easy, Fun and Challenging

(2) V&B uses Big Bases. No fiddling around with the rules to make my big bases work.



(3) V&B uses the brigade/regiment as the tactical unit. The brigade/regiment is probably the best level of abstraction for all the major battles of the Peninsular War. Admittedly at Albuera Beresford showed an undue interest in where particular battalions stood and in which formation they deployed, however, he might have fought a better battle if he had left this to his subordinates. Generally an army commander would leave that level of detail to the local commanders. This is, for example, exactly what Soult did at the same battle.
Dutch Cavalry

Dutch Cavalry

(4) Because the tactical units are brigades/regiments V&B demands far less figures than competitors. About a third of the figures/units when compared to Shako and other games with battalions as the basic unit. Assuming of course that you base the unit the same regardless of the rules, in my case a unit of infantry has 24 figures whether used as a battalion or a brigade. Collecting the armies for Albuera using Shako would have taken another couple of life times.

3 comments to Why Volley and Bayonet for the Peninsular War

  • Roby

    Is Volley and Bayonet suitable for s small table (90cm x 90 cm)?

    • Steven Thomas

      Roby, short answer is yes. The default ground scale is 1 inch = 100 yards with units 3 inches x 3 inches (I use 8cm a side). So your 3′ x 3′ table represents quite a lot of ground – about 3.3 km x 3.3 km – and could have a few brigades on it. However, big Napoleonic battles were quite big, bigger than your table. For example, I’m intending to play Albuera on a 6’x4′ table. So you could consider changing the ground scale and so shrinking the base sizes. I know people who have 1 inch = 200 yards with each unit being 1.5 inches x 1.5 inches (about 4cm a side). That quadruples the representation size of your table to 6.6km x 6.6km.

  • We have done exactly that at our club today. We used 6mm figures and read cm for inches. We had about 3cm square bases on a 80 by 80cm table. It made for a great introductory game!

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